LOGS TO BURN
Logs to burn, logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn
Here's a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman's cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn,
the proper kind of logs to burn.
OAK logs will warm you well,
If they're old and dry.
LARCH logs of pine wood smell,
But the sparks will fly.
BEECH logs for Christmas time,
YEW logs heat well.
SCOTCH logs it is a crime,
For anyone to sell.
BIRCH logs will burn too fast,
CHESTNUT scarce at all
HAWTHORN logs are good to last,
If you cut them in the fall
HOLLY logs will burn like wax
You should burn them green
ELM logs like smouldering flax
No flame to be seen
PEAR logs and APPLE logs,
they will scent your room.
CHERRY logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom
But ASH logs, all smooth and grey,
burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They're worth their weight in gold.
Note that all woods burn better when seasoned and some burn better when split rather than as whole logs. In general the better woods for burning that you are most likely to come by (including non-native species) are:
Apple and pear – burning slowly and steadily with little flame but good heat. The scent is also pleasing.
Ash – the best burning wood providing plenty of heat (will also burn green but you should not need to do this!)
Beech and hornbeam – good when well seasoned
Birch – good heat and a bright flame – burns quickly.
Blackthorn and hawthorn – very good – burn slowly but with good heat
Cherry – also burns slowly with good heat and a pleasant scent.
Cypress – burns well but fast when seasoned, and may spit
Hazel – good, but hazel has so many other uses hopefully you won’t have to burn it!
Holly – good when well seasoned
Horse Chestnut – good flame and heating power but spits a lot.
Larch – fairly good for heat but crackles and spits
Maple – good.
Oak – very old dry seasoned oak is excellent, burning slowly with a good heat
Pine – burns well with a bright flame but crackles and spits
Poplar – avoid all poplar wood – it burns very slowly with little heat – which is why poplar is used to make matchsticks.
Willow – very good – in fact there is growing interest in biomass production of coppiced willow as a fuel.